Steve Curtin

Purpose-driven leaders are on a quest

For decades, leadership luminaries such as Abraham Zaleznik and John Kotter have examined the differences between managers and leaders. Managers were labeled with terms like “order” and “consistency,” while leaders were celebrated with terms like “visi...

What is My Team’s Aspirational Goal?

This is the final article in a 4-article series that explores each of the Four Questions leaders must ask to reveal the total job role to employees, connect daily work activities to organizational purpose, and inspire the collective pursuit of a common...

What purposeful actions and behaviors do I exhibit at work?

This is the third article in a 4-article series that explores each of the Four Questions leaders must ask to reveal the total job role to employees, connect daily work activities to organizational purpose, and inspire the collective pursuit of a common...

What values guide my actions and behaviors at work?

This is the second article in a 4-article series that explores each of the Four Questions leaders must ask to reveal the total job role to employees, connect daily work activities to organizational purpose, and inspire the collective pursuit of a commo...

What is my purpose at work?

This is the first article in a 4-article series that explores each of the Four Questions leaders must ask to reveal the total job role to employees, connect daily work activities to organizational purpose, and inspire the collective pursuit of a common...

Don’t conflate ESG, CSR, or DEI programs with organizational purpose

In the 21st century, there is an expectation that corporations, once aloof from societal issues, take a stand on matters that are relevant to their purpose and values. Regardless of whether they are known for being socially or environmentally progressi...

Increase your customer service strength

I recently received a delivery of a weightlifting system by a local fitness equipment company. I met the delivery truck in my driveway and gave the foreman a quick orientation about the best door to use, location of the weight room containing the old ...

While problems may be beyond your control, problem resolution is not

On February 27 of this year, I placed an online order for a Husky 52” mobile workbench from The Home Depot. I chose to have the product delivered to a local store for pickup to avoid the $79 delivery fee. After the order was complete,…

What pandemic?

Over the holidays my wife and I dined at two steakhouses in the Denver area. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were not allowed to dine inside either restaurant. Instead, both restaurants had erected two 400’ sq outdoor tents with a seating capacity of ...

Tampering masks true performance

Last week, I placed an order for a case of wine that shipped via FedEx Home Delivery® on Nov. 25th. On Nov. 28th I received a text from FedEx informing me that my delivery was scheduled for the following day, Nov. 29th. The text stated…

Chat gone wrong

Imagine paying $216 per year for the privilege of receiving your monthly invoice at the correct address. In order to change the billing address on his account, CenturyLink chat reps led one customer on a 68-minute odyssey that would involve four reps, ...

Interpreting the Voice of the Customer

Voice of the Customer (VoC) is how companies hear, listen to, and respond to customer feedback about their brand, products, and services. This data comes from a variety of sources, including: Surveys (internal and external/third-party) Online reviews ...

Three simple ways to improve CX

There is a lot of talk about voice of the customer (VoC) in customer experience (CX) circles. Most of it has to do with sifting through lots of data to determine what customers say about their needs and their perception of how well companies meet…

Customer service in the wake of COVID-19

Last Friday, I had my teeth cleaned after my dentist’s office reopened as COVID-19 restrictions relaxed in my area. As expected, new protocols were in place, including: social distancing in the office requiring patients to call from the parking lot to ...

In times of crisis, reaffirm your purpose

I suddenly have a lot more time on my hands. It’s made me think about how, as a customer service consultant, I can offer value to clients at a time of unprecedented crisis where the primary focus, understandably, is survival. Then it occurred to me…

When values are clear, decisions are easy

Nearly every sophisticated organization has gone to great lengths to craft a mission, vision, or purpose statement together with a set of guiding principles or values to direct its course, during good times and bad. Even so, in both my formal and infor...

In times of crisis, let values be your guide

By now, most of us have been impacted in some way by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). I worked in Boston last week where I met a fellow hotel guest in the elevator. Upon detecting an accent, I asked where he was from. He said, “I…

Three Truths of Exceptional Customer Service

Most people don’t choose to deliver poor customer service; they just don’t choose to deliver exceptional customer service. Most are content to simply occupy a customer service role and execute their job functions, blissfully unaware of the opportunitie...

Communicate On Purpose

Employees will only be aware of job purpose (as a relevant and credible dimension of their job role) if leadership and, in particular, their immediate supervisor, reinforces it daily by talking about it and, more importantly, modeling it. Most employee...

If you can afford to dine out, then you can afford to be generous

Last week, a restaurant guest in Colts Neck, New Jersey left his waitress a 74-cent tip on a $119.26 check. Somehow, a New Jersey state senator obtained a photo of the signed receipt and shared the unedited image on Twitter. The intent of this blog…

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